Tuesday was a great day for yours truly.
After staying up late to post my daily “Tuley’s Takes Today” for Monday, I had to get up early and write my weekly “Tuley’s Takes” column for “Point Spread Weekly, but that’s OK as I’m a workaholic. It was also my 56th birthday, so my wife didn’t argue with me a single time and my kids gave me plenty of love.
For lunch, I made barbecue chicken wings in my air fryer and was in an even better mood as my Best Bet of the day on the Diamondbacks 1st 5 Innings + 105 cashed as the D-backs led the Guardians 5-2 after 5 innings on the way to a 6-3 upset. I did lose my secondary play on the Royals 1st 5 + 140 vs. the White Sox, but still came out ahead on the day. Over the last 7 days, we’ve been making two 1st 5 Inning plays a day and we’re 7-3-4 for a net profit of 7.79 units.
For dinner, we went to my favorite pizza place, Rosati’s, for a taste of Chicago and then went home for some chocolate cake and opened my presents. My favorite present was a double-capacity air fryer, meaning it has two chambers so I can now do two separate types of fries (or mozzarella sticks, or more wings) for my picky family when we eat at home, and even a third different item as this is an addition to the kitchen and not replacing our older air fryer. I just need to clear out some counter space!
But that’s a good problem to have.
Let’s recap the rest of Tuesday’s (full-game) betting results and look for more 1st 5 inning opportunities on Wednesday’s MLB card, plus we have some swagger and anti-swagger plays, too.
MLB: Favorites/underdogs split 8-8 on Tuesday with the biggest upsets by the Nationals (+ 300 in 5-1 win vs. Mets, who had their 7-game winning streak snapped), Pirates (+ 235 in 5-3 win vs. Brewers) and Red Sox (+ 180 in 2-1 win at Astros). Home/road teams also split 8-8. Over/Unders also split 8-8.
More MLB: Faves lead 920-611 SU (60.1 percent) on the season with 25 pick-'ems (faves usually win around 59 percent; still ahead of pace; gap had been narrowing but now back over 60 percent). Home teams lead just 813-743 (52.2 percent, but usually closer to 54 percent). Unders lead 769-713-72 (51.9 percent).
Phillies 1st 5 + 125 at Braves: With the trading deadline behind us, the race for playoff berths and seedings are heating up. In the NL, the Phillies are battling the Cardinals for the third wild-card berth as they trail the Braves and Padres. I like the Phillies in this spot with Zack Wheeler (9-5, 2.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) vs. Charlie Morton (5-5, 4.34 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). The Braves have the better bullpen, so I’m not betting the full-game money line; as I wrote in Point Spread Weekly, we don’t have to worry about the bullpens as we’re shortening the game to just the 1st 5 innings. As for our secondary play, we’ll go with A’s 1st 5 + 170 or so at the Angels. As we’ve written a few times, Oakland’s James Kaprielan is better than his 2-5 record, plus we’re not afraid to fade Shoetai Ohtani as his teammates rarely give him run support even if he pitches great.
MLB swagger/anti-swagger plays: We haven’t had one of these in a while, but on Tuesday the Pirates snapped a 7-game losing streak (thus “getting their swagger back”) and the Mets had their 7-game winning streak snapped (“anti-swagger” and thus a play against. So, Tuesday’s bonus plays will be on the Pirates + 190 vs. the Brewers and the Nationals + 215 vs. the Mets. We make a tidy profit if one of them wins, and clean up if we sweep. I’m considering also betting the 1st 5 lines, but usually just go with the game money lines on these.
Thursday: Raiders-Jaguars Over 32.5 (now 30.5): I posted this Monday after giving it out on "The Lookahead" show on Sunday night. I'm usually an "Under or pass" guy with NFL preseason games, but since Unders have had so much success in recent years (especially with less time for offenses to prepare and get in sync), we believe this total has been shaded a little too low. Now, I gave it out on the show and in this column at Over 32.5, but as you can see everyone is jumping all the Under as it’s now down to 30.5 as of early Tuesday morning. This only makes me like the bet more as we’re being contrarian to the line move. I'm not going nuts, but I think there's value with Josh Daniels obviously emphasizing offense and some quality backup QBs. I know we’re not going to see Derek Carr and Trevor Lawrence, and I was hoping to see former 49ers Nick Mullens (Raiders) and C.J. Beathard (Jaguars) square off, but Beathard is also Out. But the Jaguars are starting Jake Luton (completed 24-of-31 passes in preseason games last year) with Kyle Sloter (2017 preseason stud with the Broncos as he was 31-for-43, 413 yards, 6 TDs and no INTs), so they could have success as well as Stidham and Mullens for the Raiders.
Good luck today (and every day!).